Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

December 11, 2012

Margaret Crocco announced Monday that she is resigning as dean of the College of Education at the University of Iowa, where her tenure has been controversial, The Des Moines Register reported. Professors have questioned her leadership, and last week all of the members of a faculty advisory committee for the college quit amid reports that administrators ordered some faculty leaders to destroy the results of a survey about Crocco's performance.

 

December 11, 2012

In today’s Academic Minute, Stuart Robbins of the University of Colorado at Boulder explains his work mapping craters on the surface of Mars. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

December 11, 2012

Cecilia Chang, who killed herself last month while on trial on multiple charges, had been a prominent administrator at St. John's University, in New York. An article in The New York Times examines her record in helping to bring millions of dollars of grants to the university, and also the charges she faced of fraud, embezzlement and of forcing international students to do personal work for her. The article also provides details about her grisly suicide.

 

December 11, 2012

Just a day after the University of Notre Dame announced it would finally oblige long-denied requests to create a gay-straight alliance student group formally recognized by the university, the Catholic University of America again rejected a petition from its students to do the same. The CUAllies, who have been meeting unofficially since 2009 and have petitioned for formal recognition before, reported the news Friday via Facebook, saying Catholic will not recognize the group because of its “possibility of becoming an advocacy group.” Catholic officials declined to comment Monday afternoon.

December 11, 2012

A new cartoon, three new finalists to vote on, and the second winner of Inside Higher Ed's Cartoon Caption Contest -- all coming at you today.

To submit your captions for December's brand-new cartoon -- yes, it is winter-themed -- please click here. The three entries deemed most clever and creative by our experts' panel will be put to a vote by our readers, and the winner will receive a $100 Amazon gift certificate and a copy of the cartoon signed by Matthew Henry Hall, the artist.

Click here to vote on the three captions nominated as finalists for our November cartoon.

And congratulations to the winner of Cartoon Caption Contest for October, John Whitlock, dean of arts and sciences at Florida's Pasco-Hernando Community College. Find out more about him and his submission here.

Thanks for playing along.

December 11, 2012

Echoing the findings of other reports and statements about doctoral education in recent months, a commission of the American Chemical Society issued a report Monday that urges significant changes in the structure, curriculums, and financing of graduate programs in chemistry to better align the interests of students, institutions and the discipline. Among the recommendations are that the median time to Ph.D. for individual chemistry departments be no more than five years, that financial support for students be uncoupled (to the extent possible) from grants and contracts, and that universities set the size of their doctoral programs based on the availability of "truly attractive opportunities for graduates" in chemical science professions. "A large undergraduate teaching need is not a sufficient justification for a large graduate program," the report states.

December 10, 2012

Jerrod Murray, a student at East Central University, in Oklahoma, was charged Friday with first-degree murder in the death of Generro Sanchez, also a student at the university, The Oklahoman reported. Bail was denied. Authorities sad that Murray confessed to the killing, saying that he wanted to see what it would feel like to kill someone.

 

December 10, 2012

A majority of Americans want education programs protected from the possible deep, mandatory spending cuts that will go into effect at the end of this year if Congress does not reach a budget deal, according to a poll released Friday by the Committee for Education Funding and the Foundation for Education Investments. The poll, conducted by YouGov, found 55 percent of Americans thought education spending should be protected from the cuts. The Pell Grant was considered among the most important education programs: 53 percent of respondents said it should be protected. (In fact, the Pell Grant program is not immediately threatened by sequestration, as the mandatory budget cuts are called.)

Scientific research, another priority for many colleges and universities in the federal budget crunch, fared less well. Only 34 percent of respondents said they believed research should be protected from cuts. When asked about specific education programs, only 30 percent said it was very important to protect scientific and biomedical research at universities.

December 10, 2012

Georgetown University announced today that it is joining edX, one of the major providers of MOOCs (massive open online courses), The Washington Post reported. Georgetown is expected to offer courses in the social sciences and humanities, starting next fall.

December 10, 2012

The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey has agreed to pay $4.65 million to settle a class action charging the institution with bias against female faculty members, NewJersey.com reported. The university declined to comment on the agreement. The suit charged sex discrimination was behind a $20,000 gender gap in the mean salaries of full professors who had been at the university for at least 10 years -- even though women in the sample brought in more research grants and also had more teaching responsibilities than did male professors.

 

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